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Thread: 15-16 Season Discussion

  1. #1
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    Default 15-16 Season Discussion

    Well, the boys are off to a great start so far! I honestly wasn't totally sold on them in the first three games, as I really question how good Edmonton and Swift Current are this season (especially Edmonton). I thought their first test would be last night's game against Kelowna, and I wasn't wrong.

    They matched up pretty well with Kelowna (despite only being able to dress 5 defensemen), though I think that Red Deer had a slight edge in goaltending, and there were a few Kelowna defensemen that really didn't look very good at all. They survived an almost herculean effort by the officials to hand the game to Kelowna in the first thirty minutes, but poured it on for much of the last half of the game.

    I think that so far Spacek and Nikolishin have pretty much performed as advertised. Nikolishin is a great puck possession guy, and Spacek has scored some beauties in a lot of traffic, that surprised a few goaltenders.

    Been pleasantly surprised so far by Schmoorkoff. Nothing flashy about his game, but doesn't make many defensive mistakes, and is already plus 4.

    Fleury was reassigned by Carolina yesterday, so it will be interesting to watch and see if we get the motivated Fleury that played here two seasons ago, or... well.. the one that played here last season.

  2. #2

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    I wasn't a big fan of Pawlenchuk's play last year, but must say that the 2 games I have been to so far (1 and 3) he looked really good. Polei, the other guy I thought didn't give it all last year, looked about the same the first game but was better the third. Sounded like he was really good against Kelowna. Really have to feel for Mahura, getting that kind of an injury in his draft year. With the way he played the first game, I was really excited about what he was going to offer the Rebels this year. Still, a lot of depth on this team. Pretty good sign when Tyler Johnson played 2nd line last year and is on the third line this year. Should have 4 forward lines that can score and can just be cycled through which should pay dividends during what will be a long season.
    Toth has let in a couple pretty soft ones, which has to stop if he is expecting to be a memorial cup starting goaltender, but has played well otherwise.

    I thought we might have seen more out of Scott Feser, his first game in Red Deer as a Bronco but he was non-existent. I had to keep reminding myself he was on the team and looking for him as he did nothing to stand out. As for the other trades last season and in the off season, they are young, but McCarty and Leschyshyn don't look like they have offered much yet. Conner Gay is showing that obviously he couldn't figure out the "Sutter System" as he has been lighting it up so far with Saskatoon and Burke is on a mission to make Lethbridge the hands down winners of that trade.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonergroupie View Post
    Really have to feel for Mahura, getting that kind of an injury in his draft year. With the way he played the first game, I was really excited about what he was going to offer the Rebels this year.
    Will be interesting to see if a minor move is made to add an experienced depth defenseman now. I have to assume that Pouliot is injured as well, if Sutter is going with 5 defensemen rather than putting him in the lineup.

    Still, a lot of depth on this team. Pretty good sign when Tyler Johnson played 2nd line last year and is on the third line this year. Should have 4 forward lines that can score and can just be cycled through which should pay dividends during what will be a long season.
    I assume you mean Wyatt Johnson. So far there hasn't been any real 'set' lines for any length of time in any of the games. Not sure if Sutter is just trying to find players that have chemistry together, or if he is just trying to keep some of them happy, but so far the lines have been all over the place throughout the course of the games.

    I thought we might have seen more out of Scott Feser, his first game in Red Deer as a Bronco but he was non-existent.
    He had notoriously slow starts every season he played in Red Deer (even being reassigned to the AJHL for a few months a season after it appeared that he had made the team) so it wasn't much of a surprise to me to not notice him out there.

    As for the other trades last season and in the off season, they are young, but McCarty and Leschyshyn don't look like they have offered much yet.
    Leschyshyn is going to be good, but he became a victim of the team building for the Memorial Cup. There is no possible way that they were going to carry two 16 year old forwards on a Memorial cup team, and Pratt was by far the better of the two in two training camps.

    Conner Gay is showing that obviously he couldn't figure out the "Sutter System" as he has been lighting it up so far with Saskatoon
    Sutter's system sends a TON of players to the NHL. Some players can play within it, and others can't. I think it can be tough to turn a player that is 19 and already has a few full seasons of WHL experience into a better/different player (though he did pull it off with Versteeg), and Sutter may have overestimated his influence in the whole situation.

    Burke is on a mission to make Lethbridge the hands down winners of that trade.
    While it was tough to trade a skilled 17 year old last season, I don't see any scenario where they would have made the playoffs last season and gained valuable playoff experience without the addition of Sheen. Burke also would never have developed in Red Deer where he was in the depth chart, and where the team was in it's development. He would be playing three or four minutes a game in 20 or so games, and would be in and out of the lineup all season. While he did put up decent point totals last season in Lethbridge, he still wasn't a very effective two-way player. Will be interesting to see if he improves on the defensive part of his game this season, with an expanded role, and potentially more experienced teammates.

  4. #4

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    What's Mahura's injury?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye18 View Post
    What's Mahura's injury?
    He is getting knee surgery, out for at least 5 months rehab included.

  6. #6

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    Another day and another game that the Rebels loose to what will very likely be a bottom dwelling team this year. Toth has to get it together and start playing better or it is time to trade for a legimate number 1 goaltender. 3 goals on five shots...not acceptable. He let in a real stinker in the last game against Calgary as well. In a short tournament like the memorial cup, you can't afford to let in a soft one every game. He has to be better.

    I am really starting to wonder if the "Sutter system" isn't meant for junior hockey. The players sure don't seem to want to buy into it and are unable to create offense in it. Conner Gay (amoung many others) definately showed it last year and I wonder if that isn't what we are seeing with the veteran forwards this year again. I thought Bleackley played his best game in a year his first game back and then he has the "Sutter system" pushed on him and he can't do anything.

    The Rebels have the offence to compete with any team in the league this year. What is the problem with letting them use it. This team has way to much talent to be loosing to teams like Kamloops and Lethbridge. I don't know how to explain it besides they are either so busy worrying about how to play the system that they forget to play hockey, or they hate the system so much that they aren't even willing to try. Something is going on as there have been way to many years of under achieving players. Players that were last cuts to make NHL teams that are now playing against 16 and 17 year olds.

  7. #7

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    Wyatt Johnson wearing the C tonight, so that's really not a good sign for what is going on with Conner Bleackley right now. A completely unacceptable loss to Kamloops last night, and although they haven't looked terrible through the first against Kelowna, their penalty kill is downright horrific. I'm not really sure how they can look so good in the first few games of the year, and then look this bad. They were very fortunate to get 2 out of 4 points in their back-to-back with Calgary. After Spacek and Nikolishin, none of the offensive weapons on this club are producing at a high level. Way too many goals being allowed by a team with this roster, too.

    It's early in the year, but things as ominous as Sutter yanking Toth after giving up one goal, citing a lack of preparedness (not tonight but earlier this year against Edmonton) and taking away the C from Bleackley seem like the kind of last-resort actions taken by a coach who has been trying and failing to get through to certain guys. Those are not encouraging indications of what's going on with this club. Interesting to see how the rest of this road trip goes after a dismal start.
    Last edited by calcheyup; 10-14-2015 at 09:00 PM.

  8. #8

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    Tough loss. Rebels were clearly the better team and straight up dominated large portions of the game. Unfortunately, just like last night every single mistake they made culminated with Toth fishing the puck out of his net. Those two losses were a far cry from resting on Toth's shoulders alone, but in Tortorella's words, the Rebels could use an "occasional goddamn save" out there. Bleackley looked motivated out there tonight. That hit he laid on Merkley was huge and clean, and I'm about sick of the junior hockey officiating policy of "two minutes for hitting too hard." He did cough up the puck in his own zone and that led to the eventual gamewinner, but overall he had a strong game, even if he couldn't convert his chances. Fleury looked a lot like the 17-year-old version of himself, so that was nice to see tonight as well. On the down side, Musil and his line were completely invisible again tonight, and Nogier had a rough go of it. It looks to me like he's trying too hard to inject himself into the play offensively instead of being the player he is. The penalty kill absolutely has to be sorted out. Tonight their box is far too soft and collapsed below the hashmarks way too quickly, allowing completely uncontested shots from the point and wings. Toth not being able to get in front of a puck to save his life the last two games isn't helping, but the problems with the PK run deeper than him, certainly.

    Tough to come away from that one with nothing to show for it, but Kelowna's a good club and they had the better of them for almost the entire night. If they continue to bring that game the rest of the roadie, it's going to result in some points.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonergroupie View Post
    Toth has to get it together and start playing better or it is time to trade for a legimate number 1 goaltender. 3 goals on five shots...not acceptable. He let in a real stinker in the last game against Calgary as well. In a short tournament like the memorial cup, you can't afford to let in a soft one every game. He has to be better.
    I think that their lack of having any sort of a penalty kill whatsoever has really detracted a lot of attention from his struggles. The team really doesn't have a great deal of time left to fix either of these issues.

    I am really starting to wonder if the "Sutter system" isn't meant for junior hockey.
    The players that do buy into it generally end up on the NHL at some point, you cannot deny that.

    Conner Gay (amoung many others) definately showed it last year and I wonder if that isn't what we are seeing with the veteran forwards this year again.
    Aside from Bleackley, I don't think that any of the veterans that are being counted on to score a lot this season are really having any trouble generating offense. Conner Gay is a one-dimensional 'regular season' player--the kind that typically play for three or four different teams in their WHL career. You see a couple of them developing every year.

    I thought Bleackley played his best game in a year his first game back and then he has the "Sutter system" pushed on him and he can't do anything.
    If you were impressed with the game he played in his first game back, then it is a pretty sad commentary on his overall drive and determination. He has a ton of skill, but ever since he was drafted by the Avalanche, he really only seems to compete at all in two or three shifts a night.

    Players that were last cuts to make NHL teams that are now playing against 16 and 17 year olds.
    This is one of the reasons that Sports Psychology has become a regular thing in the CHL. In recent history, I have only seen three Rebels get drafted or signed by an NHL team, and return to the team with any sort of interest in playing in the WHL--two of them were goaltenders...
    Last edited by SectionNDeserter; 10-15-2015 at 06:35 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by calcheyup View Post
    Bleackley looked motivated out there tonight.
    He still spent a few shifts coasting around, but I agree that he seemed to have a lot more 'battle' in him than previous games.

    Fleury looked a lot like the 17-year-old version of himself, so that was nice to see tonight as well.
    He was standing around, outside of any passing or shooting lane on Kelowna's last goal, however I agree that for the most part, he was really skating hard, whether the puck was on his stick or not.

    and Nogier had a rough go of it. It looks to me like he's trying too hard to inject himself into the play offensively instead of being the player he is.
    His game is clearing the front of the net, blocking shots and making safe plays to clear the zone. I agree that he has been trying to do too much.

    The penalty kill absolutely has to be sorted out. Tonight their box is far too soft and collapsed below the hashmarks way too quickly, allowing completely uncontested shots from the point and wings.
    They put some pressure on the wings, and try to stop the cross-ice passes, but the real weakness to that PK strategy is that it puts ZERO pressure on the blueline, and the skilled defensemen in the WHL are just feasting on it (ie: Bean, Sanheim, Nielsen).

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